Premier League fakes uncovered

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

Fake Premier League football club merchandise was uncovered after a raid on a Blackpool shop.

Public protection officers uncovered fake goods including mobile phone covers, lighters, ashtrays and watches, some of it with Premiership football logos on.

A total of 30 items were found in the stock of a business being run by Topaz Discount the previous month.

Now the 64-year-old mother in the family business has appeared at Preston Crown Court and is awaiting sentence for eight offences brought under the Trademark Act 1994.

Hamida Tagari of Spring Bank, Preston, had her case heard at the magistrates court and then committed to the higher court for sentencing. Jacob Dyer, prosecuting on behalf of Blackpool Council, said a complaint relating to Premier League football teams led to a raid taking place at the business on May 21 last year.

Thirty items were seized in total out of all the stock at the Waterloo Road shop.

They were described as having been of generally poor quality.

None of the family were present at the time of the raid. The business had been transferred a short time before the visit took place.

On April 6 last year the business was being run by Topaz Discount - a company run by three family members, the defendant being one of them.

The transfer took place on that date. The defendant had no previous convictions, the court was told.

Simon Gurney, defending, said they were offences of strict liability.

She took the blame, as a partner in the business with responsibility for the shop.

He said “The officers left with about 30 items, out of a stock of about 14,000 items in the shop on a daily basis.

“There is a trading history of 19 years in the family. There have been many visits from Trading Standards, checking various things in the premises, but none of it has ever given rise to any complaint or warning in the past.”

The barrister said the stock in the case amounted to a value of £100 in all.

He added: “She had no part in the day-to-day running of the business.

“She had no idea these items were present in the shop at the time. The partnership had come into existence six weeks beforehand.

“Now she ensures that a full stock audit is done to check items are authentic.

“They have dramatically reduced the number of their suppliers and have made efforts to ensure this does not happen again”.

The case was adjourned to the New Year for further information on the finances of the business.

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